A central aspect of institutional development in developing economies is building tax systems capable of raising revenues from broad tax bases; i.e., acquiring fiscal capacity. Improved fiscal capacity allows countries to generate much-needed resources for the provision of public goods and services.

This is essential for pursuing the ambitious set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in low-income countries, and in Africa in particular.

On 2 December 2021, at 14:00 GMT, 15:00 UTC+1 (16:00 Helsinki), UNU-WIDER and the OECD Development Centre will host an online panel discussion on Developing Fiscal States in Africa that brings together academia, policy practitioners and development partners. The panel is chaired by Federico Bonaglia, Deputy Director at OECD Development Centre, and is composed of experts in the field of fiscal states including the ICTD’s Professor Mick Moore. Read his related new working paper, Glimpses of Fiscal States in sub-Saharan Africa ahead of the event.

Questions to be considered by the panel include:

  • What kind of fiscal states is Africa developing?
  • What are the political determinants of fiscal states in the continent?
  • What can countries learn from past and recent experiences in Africa and elsewhere?

The discussion is followed by a Q&A session, where the audience can ask the panellists questions. The outcomes of the dialogue contribute to a more nuanced understanding of how fiscal capacity can develop in Africa, and the political, economic and historical conditions necessary to consolidate fiscal states in the continent.

The event is held in English with simultaneous translation into French.

Programme (UTC+1)

15:00-15:05 – Opening remarks: Antonio Savoia, UNU-WIDER and the University of Manchester

15:05 – 16:10 – Panel discussion followed by Q&A, chaired by Federico Bonaglia, OECD Development Centre

  • Kunal Sen, UNU-WIDER
  • Marina Nistotskaya, University of Gothenburg
  • Mick Moore, Institute of Development Studies
  • Rose Ngugi, Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis
  • Yuen Yuen Ang, University of Michigan

16:10 – 16:20 – Closing remarks: OECD Development Centre


Antonio Savoia is a senior lecturer in development economics at the University of Manchester’s Global Development Institute, and a Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow at UNU-WIDER. His research has looked at the determinants of governance and institutional performance and how they impinge on development outcomes and policies.

Federico Bonaglia is the Deputy Director of the OECD Development Centre (DEV). An economist by training, he joined the Centre in 1999. Prior to his current role he was the Senior Counsellor to the Director and led the Centre’s Policy Dialogue Division. His research interests focus on international trade and investment, as well as structural reforms, private sector development and agriculture.

Kunal Sen is the Director of UNU-WIDER and a professor of development economics at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester. He is the author of eight books and the editor of five volumes on the economics and political economy of development. He is a leading international expert on the political economy of growth and development.

Marina Nistotskaya is an Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science and a director at the Quality of Government Institute, University of Gothenburg. Her research focuses on how public bureaucracies are organized around the world, the causes and effects of autonomous (Weberian) bureaucracies, and state capacity conceptualization and measurement among others.

Mick Moore is a political economist, Professional Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and a senior fellow of the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD). He has broad interests in governance and public administration in low income countries, and specific interests in taxation and development.

Rose Ngugi is the Executive Director of the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) and serves as the Secretary to the Board. She is involved in providing technical guidance and capacity building on policy and strategy formulation to the Government of Kenya. Her research interests are in public policy, financial sector, investments, reforms and institutional issues.

Yuen Yuen Ang is a political scientist and China scholar at the University of Michigan, with a PhD from Stanford University. Her work examines the relationship between economics and politics from a complex adaptive perspective—with an applied focus on China’s rise as one of the greatest disruptions of our times.

Event Details
Past Event
2 December 2021